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Eat Healthy for Less: A Week's Worth of Dinner Recipes for $100

  • Peter Ardito

    Monday: Mediterranean Chicken

    Makes: 4 servings

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 25 minutes



    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    8-10 skinless chicken thighs, bone in

    1/4 cup chicken broth

    1/4 cup white wine

    2 garlic cloves, sliced into thin rounds

    3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

    1/2 cup pitted olives such as Kalamata

    1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds

    1 cup whole wheat couscous

    1/2 pound fresh asparagus

    1 teaspoon lemon zest


    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; add to pan, meaty side down. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes more.

    2. Pour out any excess fat. Return pan to burner; stir in broth and wine, scraping up any brown bits. Scatter garlic, thyme, and olives on chicken. Lay one lemon round on each piece of chicken.

    3. Place skillet in oven. Roast chicken for 17 to 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. (Reserve 2 to 4 thighs plus sauce for Orzo "Paella," slide 3.)

    4. Prepare couscous according to package directions and steam asparagus until crisp-tender. Serve chicken over couscous; place steamed asparagus on the side and sprinkle with lemon zest.

    Nutrition facts per serving: 398 calories, 29g protein, 50g carbohydrate, 9g fat (1.4g saturated), 9g fiber

    *Prices were compiled on January 21, 2010.

  • Peter Ardito

    Tuesday: Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

    Makes: 4 servings

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 30 minutes



    6-9 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), cut into long 1-inch-wide wedges

    4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

    3 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and 2 roughly chopped

    11/4 teaspoons salt

    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    1 cup cilantro leaves

    1 cup parsley leaves

    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

    2 tablespoons water

    2 pounds flank steak


    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato wedges with 1 tablespoon olive oil, crushed garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place in a shallow roasting pan. Bake for 20 minutes. (Reserve 1/3 of the baked sweet potatoes for Spring-Vegetable Stew, slide 6.)

    2. Mix garlic, cilantro, parsley, 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Blend until almost smooth.

    3. Rub flank steak with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place in a broil pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let sit for 10 minutes. Thinly slice and place 2 to 3 strips on each plate and top with 2 tablespoons sauce. Serve with sweet potatoes. (Reserve the remaining steak, about 3/4 pound, for Beef Soba Salad, slide 4.)

    Nutrition facts per serving: 499 calories, 29g protein, 48g carbohydrate, 21g fat (4.9g saturated), 8g fiber

  • Peter Ardito

    Wednesday: Orzo "Paella"

    Makes: 4 servings with leftovers

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 22 minutes



    3/4 pound large frozen shrimp, cleaned, shelled, and thawed, tails on

    Juice of 1/2 lemon

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

    3 1/2 cups chicken broth

    2 cups water

    1/4 teaspoon turmeric

    1 pound whole wheat orzo

    1/2 cup frozen green peas

    1/2 small onion, finely chopped

    2-4 cooked chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks, plus sauce (left over from Mediterranean Chicken)

    1/4 cup roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips

    1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place first 4 ingredients and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large zip-top bag.

    2. In a medium pot, bring chicken broth and 2 cups water to a boil. Add turmeric and orzo; boil for 6 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of cooking liquid. Place frozen peas in the broth and let sit.

    3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large ovenproof saute pan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes; flip halfway through. Add chicken thighs and sauce; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add drained orzo to pan. Pour peas and reserved liquid over orzo and stir. Lay red pepper strips on top. Bake for 10 minutes. Top with parsley and serve.

    Nutrition facts per serving: 408 calories, 27g protein, 57g carbohydrate, 7g fat (0.9g saturated), 14g fiber

  • Peter Ardito

    Thursday: Beef Soba Salad

    Makes: 4 servings

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: none



    6 carrots

    1 1-1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger

    3 tablespoons rice or white vinegar

    2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, such as Eden Foods

    1 tablespoon canola oil

    2 teaspoons soy sauce

    3 tablespoons water

    1 bag (about 4 1/2 cups) mesclun greens

    1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

    1/2 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, very thinly sliced

    4 ounces soba noodles, cooked according to package directions

    3/4 pound cooked thinly sliced flank steak (left over from Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce)


    1. In a food processor, blend 4 carrots with ginger, vinegar, toasted sesame and canola oils, soy sauce, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth.

    2. Lay mesclun in a large bowl. Scatter bell pepper over mesclun.

    3. Using a carrot peeler, shred remaining 2 carrots into long thin strips. Mound shredded carrots and onion in center of salad. Lay noodles around carrot and onion and place steak on top of noodles. Drizzle dressing over top.

    Nutrition facts per serving: 444 calories, 31g protein, 38g carbohydrate, 19g fat (4.8g saturated), 6g fiber

  • Peter Ardito

    Friday: Greek-Style Shrimp with Quinoa Tabbouleh

    Makes: 4 servings with leftovers

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 14 minutes



    1 pound large frozen shrimp, cleaned, shelled, and thawed, tails on

    4 tablespoons olive oil

    Juice of 1 lemon

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    1 cup (1/2 pint) grape tomatoes, halved

    3/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved

    1/2 yellow, green, or red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

    1 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

    3 ounces reduced-fat feta, cut into 3/4-inch chunks

    1 box quinoa, cooked per package directions


    1. Place shrimp, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large zip-top bag; let sit.

    2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, bell pepper, parsley, and feta and remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add cooked quinoa and mix well.

    3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place shrimp in pan in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more.

    4. Mound quinoa mixture on half of a large platter and place shrimp on the other half; serve.

    Nutrition facts per serving: 442 calories, 27g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 18g fat (3.18g saturated), 7g fiber

  • Peter Ardito

    Saturday: Spring-Vegetable Stew

    Makes: 4 servings

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 15 minutes



    1/2 sweet or yellow onion, sliced

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    2-3 ounces shiitake or button mushrooms, sliced

    1 red or yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped

    1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

    3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

    3/4 cup Israeli couscous

    1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1- or 2-inch lengths

    3/4 cup frozen green peas

    1 pound baked sweet potatoes (left over from Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce), cubed

    1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated


    1. In a large saute pan, cook onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes more.

    2. Add chickpeas and 3 cups broth to pan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add couscous and simmer, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes. Add asparagus, peas, sweet potatoes, and ginger; simmer 2 to 3 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender. Add a little more broth if mixture seems dry. Spoon into bowls.

    Nutrition facts per serving: 434 calories, 14g protein, 80g carbohydrate, 7g fat (0.8g saturated), 13g fiber

  • Peter Ardito

    Sunday: Tilapia Tacos

    Makes: 4 servings with leftovers

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 5 minutes



    1 lime

    1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped

    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

    1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

    1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

    2 tablespoons mayonnaise

    2 cups green or red cabbage, sliced into narrow strips

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 pound tilapia fillets

    1/4 teaspoon chili powder

    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    8 small whole wheat tortillas

    1 avocado, cut into 8 long slices


    1. Cut lime in half. Squeeze juice from half and slice other half into 4 thin wedges. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and half the lime juice.

    2. In another bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, and remaining lime juice. Combine cabbage and 2 tablespoons of yogurt sauce in another bowl; reserve extra sauce.

    3. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Sprinkle tilapia with chili powder, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 3 minutes. Turn; cook 2 minutes more.

    4. Place 2 tortillas, 1 lime wedge, and 1/4 of the tilapia on each plate. Serve with salsa, cabbage, avocado, and sauce.

    Nutrition facts per serving: 278 calories, 22g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 12g fat (2.2g saturated), 5g fiber

  • Peter Ardito

    Your Shopping List


    1 garlic bulb

    Fresh thyme

    Fresh cilantro

    Flat-leaf parsley

    Fresh ginger

    1 jalapeno

    2 sweet Vidalia onions

    1 small onion

    3 lemons

    1 lime

    1 bunch asparagus

    3 pounds sweet potatoes

    1 pint grape tomatoes

    1 green, yellow, or red pepper

    2 red or yellow peppers

    6 large carrots

    1 package shiitake or button mushrooms

    1 bag mesclun greens

    1 head cabbage

    1 avocado

    Frozen peas


    8 to 10 bone-in chicken thighs

    2 pounds flank steak

    1 3/4 pounds large uncooked frozen shrimp

    1 pound tilapia fillets


    1 package reduced-fat feta

    1 carton plain nonfat Greek yogurt

    Canned or Packaged Goods

    2 32-ounce cartons chicken broth

    Toasted sesame oil

    Whole wheat couscous

    Whole wheat orzo

    Israeli couscous


    Soba noodles

    1 jar roasted red peppers

    1 large jar Kalamata olives

    1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas

    1 package corn tortillas

    White wine


    Olive oil, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, turmeric, rice or white vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, mayonnaise, chili powder

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2010.